What is your first memory at Sanborn? She remembers driving into the High Trails parking lot in her Ford Taurus, and sitting in car thinking about what she should do: should she get out and start the summer or wait another second? Elizabeth then remembers Katie Pigott, a Ridge Leader at the time, coming out of the lodge to greet her - Katie was very cheerful and helped her move into her cabin. This was very helpful but Elizabeth was still nervous about the summer and what to expect while she was here for the first time. She also remembers being on her staff overnight at Beyond A-Bluff and Jan (Sanborn) Van West, the HT Director at the time, coming out to lead Tai Chi in the morning.
That summer was pretty crazy - soon after that Tai Chi moment, the 2002 Hayman Fire started in the area, which pushed back camp a week and gave the staff another week of staff training. Because of the fire, a lot of the long trips were switched around to non-affected areas. In fact, Elizabeth co-led her first long trip with none other than Ariella, her now-co-director.
Favorite camp cookie? Elizabeth prefers ginger snaps straight out of the oven with a glass of ice cold milk.
Camp memory that makes you laugh or smile thinking back on it? Elizabeth recalls a lot of pranks (which are no longer appropriate, though she did think they were very funny back then). One summer, when Izzy had a day off, the Ridge Leaders took her entire office from the HT Lodge and rearranged it the exact same way on her driveway at the Mill House. So upon her return home, she called up to High Trails and informed them that she would be working from her home office that day. Many pranks were pulled involving Elizabeth’s desk (it was also once completely filled with marshmallows). She also recalls one season of school weeks at HTOEC where the female staff formed a sorority called Pi Omega Delta, aka Pike’s Outrageous Dames. Laura Sanborn served as the house mom and the sorority often gathered for events on weekends such as a formal dinner in the lodge wearing prom dresses.
Hardest camp trip? Elizabeth recalls a hard trip for her being her second adventure on the Colorado Trail. She had to go out for someone and fill in because the trip leader got sick early on in the trip, so she was driven out and the trip had to adjust their campsites a bit. It was also raining, and it’s never fun to start a trip in the rain. However, even though the start of it was hard, she had a great time on the trip because it was beautiful and they were able to summit Mt. Columbia. Elizabeth had done the trip before so could lend some knowledge to the experience.
Favorite camp tradition? Izzy loves a good Vespers (don’t we all?). She always thinks of Laura during the Sunday night tradition. She feels that having gotten to know Laura even some was so special, and especially important to Elizabeth is knowing that for several years Laura was listening to the girls sing from the porch of her house. She loves the song “Edelweiss” in particular and sitting still and quiet. No matter what, Vespers slows down the pace of life, and when you go, you feel better.
What are you going to miss most this summer? As we’re sure you’ve noticed throughout this interview, Elizabeth has a lot of fun doing this job. Though there are so many important pieces of the summer, she will miss all of the random spontaneous moments of laughter and silliness the most. She loves the unexpected things, like an impromptu bear hunt (from afar), or even just hanging out on the slackline with campers and taking time for those moments that will always be more important than emails.